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10-13-2010, 02:03 AM
Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini Press Conference Ahead of Battle With Steelers
By Eugene McCormick. Published on 10/11/2010 - 9:07pm
http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/14981

(Opening statement)- “Good afternoon everybody. Talking to the team this morning one of the things I didn’t really talk to them after the game and I really should have was how much I appreciated some of the real gutsy efforts that were out there yesterday. There were a lot of guys that were either dinged up prior to the game or things happened during the game, they really fought through those situations and contributed in a lot of different ways. Offensively, they felt like we should have run the ball more effectively than we did and it’s really important that we do that and do that on a consistent basis. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are one dimensional and we should have been much better in that area. I thought that Seneca (Wallace) did a nice job in the time that he was in spreading the ball around. That was important. He was able to get the receivers involved, the tight ends involved, the backs involved and now that forced the defense to defend the width and length of the field. Did a pretty good job on third down, did a pretty good job in terms of not having many three and outs, but when you get to that big statistic of turnovers it’s huge. It’s huge and it was big again yesterday. Whether it was a turnover for a touchdown, or a turnover on the opening drive, or the turnover there at the end of the game where we either kick a field goal or we score a touchdown and now we’re kicking an onside kick to see if we can be in a position to tie the game.

Defensively, what I was really happy to see was the way that the guys were able to handle the multiple shifts, and motions, and formations and different things that they do and do very effectively. I thought that our guys did that well and I thought that they were able to disguise a lot of the coverages and pressures and that led to us hitting Matt Ryan quite a few times and a lot of balls that weren’t easy for him to complete. In the running game, not giving up that 55-yard run. I felt like we had a chance to, we didn’t do a very good job with the first level but all that being said, we had a chance with both our safeties to make that play and we need to make that play. Atlanta is a very good running team and you can’t give them those extra opportunities and there were a few other runs like that, not that dramatic, but where it should have been a tackle for a loss or gain of one, it becomes four or five and six yards. I thought defensively one of the best things we did was the way that we were able to make sure that our advantage stayed our advantage and that led to a lot of really positive things in terms of pressures, disrupting the ball. I think the red-zone defense continues to be a real positive for us, and being able to hold a team to a field goal instead of a touchdown is crucial and we’ve done a good job of that throughout the course of the season.

On special teams, congratulate Phil (Dawson) for tying Lou’s (Groza) record and that’s not easy to do. He’s been a good kicker here for a long time and I’d much rather be congratulating him after a win but we still need to recognize the incredible accomplishment that it is. I think that we continue to be a good coverage team, with the exception of one play yesterday on the little bit longer kickoff return to our right, and generating some plays on teams as well with the second blocked field goal. We need to continue to improve our kickoff return, punt return, and it’s a group effort. One guy, one play, that one guy makes the play it doesn’t matter what the other ten do. That will be a continued point of emphasis. There were a lot of guys that either came into the game with things that limited them or had it during the game. We will see where they are on Wednesday; I’m not going to get into the specifics of any of their injuries. We’ll see how it goes throughout the course of the week.”

(On if Jake Delhomme reinjured his ankle) - “We felt comfortable with him being the two and that’s why he was the two and he did well for the limitations that he had. He’s sore today, he’s really sore today, but he’d be one that we’ll see how it goes during the week.”

(On if he reinjured the ankle) - “I don’t really want to get into any real specifics with any of the injuries.”

(On when they will decide if they need to bring in another quarterback) - “We’re going through that process now of we’re having different guys get tests, so we’ll get the results from those tests and some of it too is how they pull up tomorrow. We have talked about options if we need to go that route and Tom’s (Heckert) looking into that, but it’s hard to say right now whether that will definitely be the case or not. I think tomorrow we’ll have a better idea of if we’ll bring someone in or not. He’s exploring that and really what Tom typically does and Tom and I do after guys is we talk about it, we meet with Joe (Sheehan) and Doc and go through that and then put together a list of areas we need to look at. If a day later it’s still following the same path, we may make a move at that point but right now it’s not as clear cut.”

(On if they had considered giving Jake Delhomme another week off to not reinjure is ankle) - “No, we’ve really spent a lot of time on this and he’d continued to get better, he practiced more than he had prior. There were certain things we felt he could do, certain things we felt he couldn’t do and those things that he couldn’t do weren’t part of the plan when he went into the game. We had a specific package understanding if he went in it would be more as if something happened to Seneca then we’d be limited to that group of things.”

(On that there was a chance that Jake Delhomme would have gotten hit again) - “Yes, but there would be a chance of that next week too, there’d be a chance at any time that he goes in. Seneca had no injury at all and it happened. There’s always that chance but you go based on where he is, what the staff says, cater the plan around it and make the best decision you can off that.”

(On starting Colt McCoy if the other two quarterbacks are not available) - “Sometimes the opportunity knocks and if you get that opportunity you got to be ready to seize it. He’s played a lot of games, not at this level, but a lot of games in college at a very high level and he’s been in this system now for quite some time. So if hypothetically, I know this is all hypothetical, but I would expect him or Shawn Lauvao or any of those guys that were to see first action to seize it and to capitalize on it and to play really well when they do have those chances.”

(On if Brett Ratliff is a possibility to resign) - “Tom (Heckert) has a list of guys Mary Kay (Cabot) and whenever you go into his office or any GM’s office, there are all these lists and combinations so he’s got a form and we’ll talk about all the different options.”

(On how limited Brian Daboll was in the game with Peyton Hillis and the two quarterbacks being injured)- “Peyton (Hillis) played quite a few snaps and I thought he did some good things with the snaps that he had. He caught a touchdown pass, he ran the ball pretty effectively, and he had a couple really nice runs I thought. When he’s out, the next guy that goes in, whether it’s Jerome (Harrison) or whoever that next person in needs to be able to execute at a high level. He’s one of the running backs and Jerome was the other running back and when he goes in I expect him to perform at a high level. That being said, there are some limitations when you’re dealing with the quarterback spot if you can’t obviously move the pocket type plays, weren’t going to be a real option with Jake (Delhomme) in the game with his situation. That stuff too we knew going in and had that list so it wasn’t like they both got dinged up in the same game. It was more here’s Seneca’s and if Jake has to play here are Jake’s, then if Colt (McCoy) were to go in there’s Colt’s.”

(On why Jerome Harrison isn’t performing at the same level he did last year) - “Yesterday I think there were runs that he could have run better, but believe me, he wasn’t alone. We didn’t block it well and that was across the board. Whether it was the o-line, whether it was the backs, whether it was the receivers they did a better job than we did defending the run than we did running the ball. I’d like to be able to say it was just this one thing but it wasn’t. It was a group effort and that will be the same thing when we had success we had against Baltimore or whoever it’s a group effort. Sometimes he could have been better, could have hit the whole better, sometimes there was no whole to be hit and they did a nice job with it. It’s collective. Yesterday was collective.”

(On why the running game fell apart) - “I think they played well, I think they had some good ideas in terms of some of the things they did against us. I don’t think we played very well in that area and when you combine all those things together, it’s usually going to look like what it looked like yesterday. You’d like to be able to have continued to run the ball like that last drive prior to the interception for a touchdown. Runs were being mixed in there and I thought we were actually getting some production at that point. Now you’re down by 10, you can’t run anymore at that point. I think in that drive though we had run it two or three times there, picked up seven or eight yards, which was a well above our average at that point so you’d like to have been able to go down the field like that mixing run and pass, keeping the balance there and we weren’t able to.”

(On using Wildcat) - “We ran it three or four times yesterday, and I thought Josh (Cribbs) did a nice job too on the one pass that he had there. I think that’s good to be able to have some of that mixed in. To me, it’s a combination of doing the core things that we do and doing it well and doing it well every week. Doing the runs that are game plan specific, understanding how was have to execute those and being able to mix in the Wildcat package and getting enough out of that consistently to where it is a real plus for us. I know we talked earlier in the week about how it is sort of a different look type defense and we didn’t handle the different look I don’t think very well at all.”

(On if he regrets not challenging the Kroy Biermann touchdown) - “Looking at it even on the coaches copy it’s hard to think that there would irrefutable evidence to overturn it. He kind of catches it and spins his body so it looks like he lands on his shoulder. I have a lot of faith in Dick McKenzie, who is with us each game, and his experience as a replay official and head of the replay officials. Usually when he says this is going to hit or this is not going to hit, he doesn’t miss that often so he didn’t feel it like it was a very good opportunity for us.”

(On how many different looks Dick McKenzie gets on the replays) - “Yes, it’s the same thing that you guys are getting and you can see it on the score board too. It was hard to tell from my perspective on that.”

(On if Colt McCoy has had anytime with the first team) - “Yes, all those weeks that Jake wasn’t practicing he would mix in with Seneca because he was the two, so he got quite a few reps during that time period.”

(On if Colt McCoy is better now than on Sept. 12) - “Yes, to me that’s the natural progression of things and I think any time anybody is able to build reps and to build weeks of preparing for another opponent, I think they get better at it. There is a routine to it, there are some things that you may emphasize early in terms of your studying that you may realize okay, I don’t need to spend as much time there I need to really focus here. He’s had that benefit of five games now of doing that and he’s a smart guy and he works hard so both those are pluses.”

(On if Jake Delhomme could have done anything differently on the interception touchdown) - “It was a batted ball; he kind of made a ridiculous catch. I don’t know. It was a (heck) of a catch.”

(On Joe Thomas) - “One he was going against John Abraham who’s got 100 sacks in the last ten years, he’s a really good player. I think there were some things that he could have done better, in terms of his technique and been more consistent with. I think it was a combination of those two things, a really good player and being more consistent with your technique play in and play out. When you face a guy like Abraham or any of those real elite pass rushers, one false step, one slow hand and it’s not like some of the guys you face where you can recover. Its small difference in technique equals big play for them.”

(On if Atlanta beat them up physical)-“I think they’re going to be sore too. I think we hit the quarterback quite a few times. In the running game, they had the long run, which was 55 yards. They had the run late that was another thirty-something yards.”

(On Atlanta having been very physical with the their offense)- “I don’t know Terry (Pluto) if it was as much physical as it was execution. I think there was a component of that. I definitely think there was a component of that, but I also think that how well we passed off the games, how well we dealt with the slants, those types of things generated negative plays. Whether it was a negative run or a pressure or a sack and that, to me, sort of heightens the lack of production.”

(On if he thought they were outplaying Atlanta until Wallace and Hillis got hurt)- “I thought we were playing pretty well in a lot of different areas, I really did. I thought we were playing well on special teams, I thought our coverage units were outstanding. I think they’ve been a real strength of ours. I felt like defensively, I really felt good about the way these guys executed the plan. It’s probably because when you face a guy like Matt Ryan, who I appreciate how well he understands defenses and it’s hard to get him to have to go through all of the post-snap reads as opposed to figuring things out pre-snap. They do so many things offensively, I felt really good about that. They even mixed in some no huddle there at one point, which was a little bit of a copycat of some of the things that we’ve seen over the last few weeks. Those were positives. I felt offensively, Seneca was doing a real nice job of pressuring the outside part of the defense as well as making some plays inside. One of the things I know I talked about with Atlanta is this is a very sound football team. They run the ball well, they don’t turn the ball over very much, they’re low in penalties and they’re not sound through a few quarters. They are sound through the whole game. They won three games prior to us that were all really close games and that happened because of their consistency. You have to not only be able to match their intensity and their toughness, but you have got to be able to match their consistency through four quarters, which is what we are always striving for.”

(On if Sheldon Brown coming back in the game from injury had a role in Roddy White’s touchdown)- “No, I don’t think it was a function of that. In that coverage that we were in, you need to play higher. He gave him a hint, moved outside, which kind of made him hesitate and then they were even. He looked back for the ball a bit, which slowed him down. He missed the play by half a foot and with Roddy White, Matt Ryan, half a foot, it might as well be five yards.”

(On if he has ever started a rookie quarterback)- “I think Kellen (Clemens) was in his second year. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a team that’s started a rookie QB. But it will be easy, it’s the Steelers right? They’re coming off of a bye week and they don’t blitz much (joking).”

(On Arizona starting a rookie quarterback yesterday)- “Yes, they set the tone.”

(On if he hypothetically would be prepared to start Colt McCoy against Pittsburgh)- “Look, I’ve played with a ton of rookies at different spots. At some point, everybody has to start their first game. At some point, everybody has to get their chance. To me, that’s what all these guys are looking for is that moment to show what they can do. They’ve played football their whole lives. In a situation like Colt’s, he’s been a very successful quarterback for a long time. I’m sure he’s chomping at the bit to get his first chance to do that, just like T.J. (Ward) was. You go right on down the line, there’s been so many young guys that have gotten chances that have done outstanding things. If you didn’t have that guy, then you drafted the wrong guy. If he’s sitting at home at night, curled up in a blanket hoping that he doesn’t get that start, then you’ve got the wrong guy. We look for that competitiveness and you want those young guys to always be pushing that guy in front of him saying, ‘Come on, move out of the way. Give me my chance to do it.’ That’s what we look for in all of those young guys.”

(On if they sign back Ratliff, if he would back up McCoy)- “I’m not sure how to answer it Jeff (Schudel). Let’s get to Wednesday, see where we are at and believe me, there’s a lot that can happen between now and Wednesday with Jake, with Seneca, with roster moves. There are a lot of moving parts here, so it’s hard for me to give you anything that definitive because there’s nothing definitive to give right now.”

(On the assumption that Ratliff was cut because he was behind McCoy)- “Look, if it was Ratliff or it was somebody else or whoever it is, my expectation is they are going to come in here and we are going to get them ready to play. No problems, just challenges.”

(On if he has ever signed somebody that wasn’t on anyone’s roster and started them at quarterback)- “Not started. We’ve traded for one who started. I don’t think I’ve done that, but I’m always open to new challenges.”

(On why they didn’t try a Hail Mary at the end of the first half)- “We didn’t really want to punt it at that point. You could go and get a group out there and throw it up, but sometimes something really good happens and sometimes in a close game, suddenly you give away seven points because you’re trying to generate something that’s just not there. You’re not looking to line up and punt it again. You’d much rather end it the way you want to end it, as opposed to have them force you into doing something that you don’t want to do.”

(On why they didn’t try a play after Wallace got hurt)- “What was the down and distance? Wasn’t it third and long? It was third and a long way.”

(On if McCoy is one of those guys curled up under a blanket at the end of the night not wanting to start)- “No, no, no. I’m saying he’s not (one of those guys).”
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